Early in the spring (did Portland ever actually get a spring season?), I attended the cherry blossom festival down by the waterfront. There’s a Japanese tradition, called hanami, which consists of cherry blossom viewing, picnicking, and celebrating spring. At the Japanese American Historical Plaza, there was music, food, and entertainment, one of which was Takohatchi!
Performing their new “Octopus” song 🙂
Urban had his first birthday party (known as a Dol in Korean) at Aquariva. The theme was Tigger, since Urban was born in the year of the Tiger, and Urban’s mom, Mihye, did an amazing job planning and decorating the party. The table spreads were very impressive with gift boxes as decorations, photo frames, and candles. There were photo albums filled with photos from Urban’s 1st year, cards for guests to write messages to Urban, and also guessing sticks for the Toljabee.
The Tolijabee is a 1st birthday tradition where the birthday child is given a set of objects to choose from. Whatever the object the child picks determine’s his future. In this game, the items (and meanings) were:
– a bowl of rice (lots of luck)
– soccer ball (athlete’s career)
– bag of money (lots of wealth)
– stethoscope (doctor’s career)
– gavel (law career)
– needle and thread (long life)
– computer mouse (technology career)
– pen (academic career)
The Toljabee is always a hilarious and fun event. Urban, dressed adorably in a dol-bok, was placed on a blanket and encouraged to crawl towards the objects. While mom was trying to neutrally encourage Urban to pick an item, grandma was pointing excitedly towards the bag of money, and dad was calling for the soccer ball (grandma continued to put that one on the far end). Urban’s pick for his first item was not so questionable as he immediately reached for the stethoscope. We’ve got a future doctor in the house!
For the second item, there were plenty of teasing moments as he would reach for various items before pulling away. Soon they piled all the items around his feet, until he held his hand high in the air… reached down… and grabbed the soccer ball!
As you can see, Dad was very excited.
In the end, my favorite part of the birthday was the slideshow. They put together an amazing slideshow filled with photos and videos clips of Urban, along with movie and TV clips to go along. It was sweet, funny, nostalgic, and entertaining all together. Possibly one of the best slideshow videos I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot since my sister makes awesome videos.
Urban and his family at the birthday table.
He looked so dapper with his bowtie and cap, I had to take a photo in the bar.
I wish I understood what their conversation was about…
A happy birthday boy!
Last Friday, a candlelight vigil was held at Pioneer Square for the survivors and victims of the March 11th Sendai earthquake and resulting tsunami. It was a last minute event organized by four students from Japan. They were able to gather over 1000 people to stand out in the cold for two hours. Once everyone had gathered, they began some speeches. It seemed that as soon as they started on the speeches, the rain absolutely poured. It felt as though we were on a movie set and someone had decided to cue the rain and hail. It was ridiculous, but we all stood out there regardless.
Personally, it was my first candlelight vigil. I had an electric candle, which worked out great against the rain and strong wind, but it didn’t feel very legit to me. I could throw it in my pocket and forget it it, whereas wax candles had to be watched… like a vigil. At one point, I was upset by the media photographers blocking the views of the spectators. I was also bugged by the number of people I saw without candles and with cameras instead (yes.. I know… hello kettle, pot is calling you black), but really, there were plenty of candles behind me.
Once the speeches cleared up, the rain eased and Takohatchi, Japanese Taiko and Dance group, performed their songs. We’re trying to recruit Yumi for our dragon boat team 🙂
In the end, the vigil was able to raise $7833 to be donated to Peace Winds Japan via Mercy Corps. Well done organizers!
Dianna’s baby shower was filled with handmade decor and presents. The theme was owls, so there were owl onesies and diaper cakes decorating the room. The homemade food was really yummy, the chocolate fondue was a hit, and the gifts were amazing. Some of the guests had made quilts, blankies, and even stuffed animals! I really wanted the stuffed animals (of course).
Hand-knit stuffed animals.
This adorable little fella is a giraffe, but he also happens to have a smiley-face for a snout.
I want them.
I’m a little overwhelmed with photos from this past week, so we’re going back in time to Liana’s 1st Birthday Party. Nothing says 1st birthdays like baby cupcakes for the guests, and a big cupcake for the birthday girl to go bonkers at.